Climate Action

UK oil and gas industry to halve emissions by 2030

The UK’s offshore oil and gas industry has committed to halving operational emissions in the next decade.

  • 23 June 2020
  • Joana Costa Figueira

The UK’s offshore oil and gas industry has committed to halving operational emissions in the next decade.

Industry trade association Oil & Gas UK (OGUK) has revealed plans for halving emissions from production and exploration by 2030, with the country’s basin becoming net-zero by the year 2050.

A new report published by OGUK, The Pathway to Net Zero: Production Emissions Targets, outlines how the targets will be achieved with changes to operations, progressive reducing in flaring and venting, and major capital investment programs aimed at using electricity rather than gas to power offshore facilities at the focus.

The targets are a key part of a “transformational” sector deal that industry is now formally discussing with the UK government, according to OGUK.

With jobs, supply chain and energy communities at its core, the deal will look towards how the UK’s oil and gas industry can support a green economic recovery.

OGUK Chief Executive Deirdre Michie OBE said: “The coronavirus pandemic and low oil and gas prices have had a devastating impact on the UK’s offshore oil and gas industry.” “Given the limited impact that the severity of the lockdown has had on global emissions, it is clearer than ever that we need a fair, inclusive, and sustainable transition towards climate targets. We need a green recovery which supports jobs, supply chain companies and energy communities."

This could see the sector support wider UK efforts to decarbonise, by developing critical carbon-cutting solutions such as industrial-scale carbon capture usage and storage and the use of hydron for heating and heavy transport.

Report author and OGUK Emissions Improvement Manager Louise O’Hara Murray claims that these targets would remove over 9 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent greenhouse gas emissions from operations over the next decade.

The UK oil and gas trade body remains focused on tackling climate change as outlined in its Roadmap 2035, published last year.

Michie added: “Our industry will play its part by reducing its emissions and using its skills to develop the solutions that will be needed to make a significant contribution to the UK’s overall targets.”

“With a clear pathway to becoming a net-zero basin by 2050 and with support from governments and regulators, we can protect domestic energy supplies, jobs and communities’ whilst embracing the opportunities which will come from being at the forefront of delivering a low carbon economy."

In response to the news, UK Government Minister for Energy Kwasi Kwarteng said: "The offshore oil and gas sector’s commitment to halving operational emissions over the next decade is a welcome step for an industry that has a vital role to play in our energy transition in the years to come.”

“The UK government will continue to work tirelessly with all partners to deliver a dynamic sector deal This will further support the industry in becoming more sustainable as we work towards achieving net zero emissions by 2050."

To read full report click here.